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Dr Hubert Pollock

Dr Hubert Pollock

Emeritus Reader in Surface Physics

A56 Physics Building
Lancaster University
Bailrigg
Lancaster
LA1 4YB

+44 (0)15242 76 351

Research Interests

Near-field thermal and spectroscopic microscopy
Fundamental research into the thermal properties of materials on the nanoscale has led to a new generic scanning technique - Scanning Thermal probe Microscopy (SThM) - where thermal modes of imaging at the sub-micron scale are complemented with localised analysis. A cantilever with an ultra-miniature resistive element on its tip can act either as a temperature sensor or as a point-like heat source. This is used to locally provide and monitor thermal flux to the material surface as well as to record the surface topography. Individual regions of a solid sample are selected by means of surface or even sub-surface imaging to combine spatial discrimination and chemical fingerprinting using calorimetry, thermomechanometry, infrared spectroscopy, or pyrolysis mass spectrometry.
                Patented technology has led to the development of instruments including micro- and nano- thermal analysers and photothermal nano-infrared spectrometers. These have been used in a wide range of situations ranging from polymer technology to biomedical studies. Here, the samples to be characterized can be inhomogeneous, with structural detail at the sub-micrometer level. The researcher often faces the task of chemically mapping the individual components or detecting subtle spatial variations in their molecular composition.

For example, photothermal nano-IR is used to obtain infrared spectra from sub-micron sized regions, and improved data analysis methods involving chemometrics and/or fuzzy logic enable detection of minute compositional differences between otherwise identical samples.

                The wider beneficiaries include a variety of scientific and industrial end users of the technology. Micro-thermal analysis is now being widely used commercially to visualize the spatial distribution of phases, components, and contaminants in polymers, pharmaceuticals, foods, biological materials, and electronic materials. For detection of minute compositional differences between otherwise identical samples, our research has also helped develop improved data analysis methods involving chemometrics and/or fuzzy logic. Nano-IR shows particular promise in the biomedical field, wherever the motive is to identify biochemical markers that might serve as diagnostic fingerprints for identifying rogue cells of human tissue. The ability to obtain such a fingerprint, where spectral deviations point to the presence of biomolecular variations between and within cells, has a wide range of potential applications: reducing “false negatives” in cancer screening, post-operative screening, highlighting the severity of disease, and predicting the response of cancer to drugs so that the clinician could tailor the treatment to the individual patient. These markers would consist of certain features of vibrational spectra in the mid-infrared, enabling us to pick out molecular groups of interest. One long-term aim is to develop an automated procedure that might replace the visual procedures involved in cancer screening, with good prospects of very significantly reducing the proportion of false negatives and false positives.

Selected Publications

Microspectroscopy as a tool to discriminate nano-molecular cellular alterations in biomedical research.

Martin, F. L. & Pollock, H. M. 2010 Oxford Handbook of Nanoscience and Technology. Narlikar, A. V. & Fu, Y. Y. (eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press, Vol. 2, 2816 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Hubert Pollock's Publications

2011

Biospectroscopy to metabolically profile biomolecular structure : a multi-stage approach linking computational analysis with biomarkers.

Kelly, J., Trevisan, J., Scott, A. D., Carmichael, P. L., Pollock, H. M., Martin-Hirsch, P. L. & Martin, F. L. 2011 In : Journal of Proteome Research. 10, 4, p. 1437-1448 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2010

Syrian hamster embryo (SHE) assay (pH 6.7) coupled with infrared spectroscopy and chemometrics towards toxicological assessment

Trevisan, J., Angelov, P. P., Patel, I. I., Najand, G. M., Cheung, K. T., Llabjani, V., Pollock, H. M., Bruce, S. W., Pant, K., Carmichael, P. M., Scott, A. D. & Martin, F. L. 11/2010 In : Analyst. 135, 12, p. 3266-3272 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Towards chemical mapping at sub-micron resolution : near-field spectroscopic delineation of interphase boundaries.

Pollock, H. M. 11/2010 In : Materials Science Forum. 662, p. 1-11 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Microspectroscopy as a tool to discriminate nano-molecular cellular alterations in biomedical research.

Martin, F. L. & Pollock, H. M. 2010 Oxford Handbook of Nanoscience and Technology. Narlikar, A. V. & Fu, Y. Y. (eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press, Vol. 2, 2816 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

2009

Discrimination of human stem cells by photothermal microspectroscopy

Grude, O., Nakamura, T., Hammiche, A., Bentley, A. J., Martin, F. L., Pollock, H. M., Kinoshita, S. & Fullwood, N. J. 22/01/2009 In : Vibrational Spectroscopy. 49, 1, p. 22-27 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2008

FTIR micro-spectroscopy identifies symmetric PO2- modifications as a marker of the putative stem cell region of human intestinal crypts.

Walsh, M. J., Fellous, T. G., Hammiche, A., Lin, W-R., Fullwood, N. J., Grude, O., Bahrami, F., Nicholson, J. M., Cotte, M., Susini, J., Pollock, H. M., Brittan, M., Martin-Hirsch, P. L., Alison, M. R. & Martin, F. L. 01/2008 In : Stem Cells. 26, 10, p. 108-118 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

A Self-Learning Fuzzy Classifier with Feature Selection for Intelligent interrogation of mid-IR spectroscopy data from exfoliative cervical cytology using selflearning classifier eClass.

Kelly, J. G., Angelov, P. P., Walsh, M. J., Pollock, H. M., Pitt, M. A., Martin-Hirsch, P. L. & Martin, F. L. 2008 In : International Journal of Computational Intelligence Research. 4, 4, p. 392-401 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

FTIR Microspectroscopy Coupled with Two-Class Discrimination Segregates Markers Responsible for Inter- and Intra-Category Variance in Exfoliative Cervical Cytology.

Walsh, M. J., Singh, M. N., Stringfellow, H. F., Pollock, H. M., Hammiche, A., Grude, O., Fullwood, N. J., Pitt, M. A., Martin-Hirsch, P. L. & Martin, F. L. 2008 In : Biomarker Insights. 3, p. 179-189 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2007

Near-field photothermal microspectroscopy for adult stem-cell identification and characterization.

Grude, O., Hammiche, A., Pollock, H. M., Bentley, A. J., Walsh, M. J., Martin, F. L. & Fullwood, N. J. 12/2007 In : Journal of Microscopy. 228, 3, p. 366-372 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

FTIR microspectroscopy coupled with two-class discrimination segregates markers responsible for inter- and intra-category variance in exfoliative cervical cytology.

Walsh, M. J., Singh, M. N., Stringfellow, H. F., Pollock, H. M., Hammiche, A., Grude, O., Fullwood, N. J., Pitt, M. A., Martin-Hirsch, P. L. & Martin, F. L. 11/2007 In : Mutagenesis. 22, 6, p. 453

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Identifying variables responsible for clustering in discriminant analysis of data from infrared microspectroscopy of a biological sample.

Martin, F. L., German, M., Wit, E., Fearn, T., Ragavan, N. & Pollock, H. M. 11/2007 In : Journal of Computational Biology. 14, 9, p. 1176-1184 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Non-contact micro-cantilevers detect photothermally induced vibrations that can segregate different categories of exfoliative cervical cytology.

Hammiche, A., Walsh, M. J., Pollock, H. M., Martin-Hirsch, P. L. & Martin, F. L. 10/06/2007 In : Journal of Biochemical and Biophysical Methods. 70, 4, p. 675-677 3 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Preliminary work on the development of a novel detection method for osteoporosis.

Moran, P., Towler, M. R., Chowdhury, S., Saunders, J., German, M. J., Lawson, N. S., Pollock, H. M., Pillay, I. & Lyons, D. 06/2007 In : Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine. 18, 6, p. 969-974 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Characterisation of human corneal stem cells by synchrotron infrared micro-spectroscopy.

Bentley, A. J., Nakamura, T., Hammiche, A., Pollock, H. M., Martin, F. L., Kinoshita, S. & Fullwood, N. J. 22/02/2007 In : Molecular Vision. 13, p. 237-242 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Characterization of human corneal stem cells by synchrotron infrared micro-spectroscopy.

Bentley, A. J., Nakamura, T., Hammiche, A., Pollock, H. M., Martin, F. L., Kinoshita, S. & Fullwood, N. J. 22/02/2007 In : Molecular Vision. 13, p. 237-242 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

IR microspectroscopy: potential applications in cervical cancer screening.

Walsh, M. J., German, M. J., Singh, M., Pollock, H. M., Hammiche, A., Kyrgiou, M., Stringfellow, H. F., Paraskevaidis, E., Martin-Hirsch, P. L. & Martin, F. L. 8/02/2007 In : Cancer Letters. 246, 1-2, p. 1-11 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

ATR microspectroscopy with multivariate analysis segregates grades of exfoliative cervical cytology.

Walsh, M. J., Singh, M. N., Pollock, H. M., Cooper, L. J., German, M. J., Stringfellow, H. F., Fullwood, N. J., Paraskevaidis, E., Martin-Hirsch, P. L. & Martin, F. L. 5/01/2007 In : Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 352, 1, p. 213-219 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2006

Infrared spectroscopy with multivariate analysis potentially facilitates the segregation of different types of prostate cell. (vol 90, pg 3738, 2006)

German, M. J., Hammiche, A., Ragavan, N., Tobin, M. J., Fullwood, N. J., Matanhelia, S. S., Hindley, A. C., Nicholson, C. M., Pollock, H. M. & Martin, F. L. 15/07/2006 In : Biophysical Journal. 91, 2, p. 775-775 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Discrimination of exfoliative cytology samples employing ATR-FTIR microspectroscopy.

Walsh, M. J., German, M. J., Pollock, H. M., Hammiche, A., Singh, M., Kyrgiou, M., Stringfellow, H., Paraskevaidis, E., Martin-Hirsch, P. L. & Martin, F. L. 07/2006 In : Mutagenesis. 21, 4, p. 289

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Characterization of Putative Stem Cell Populations in the Cornea Using Synchrotron Infrared Microspectroscopy.

German, M. J., Pollock, H. M., Zhao, B., Tobin, M. J., Hammiche, A., Bentley, A., Cooper, L. J., Martin, F. L. & Fullwood, N. J. 06/2006 In : Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. 47, 6, p. 2417-2421 5 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Infrared Spectroscopy with Multivariate Analysis Potentially Facilitates the Segregation of Different Types of Prostate Cell.

German, M. J., Hammiche, A., Ragavan, N., Tobin, M. J., Cooper, L. J., Matanhelia, S. S., Hindley, A. C., Nicholson, C. M., Fullwood, N. J., Pollock, H. M. & Martin, F. L. 05/2006 In : Biophysical Journal. 90, 10, p. 3783-3795 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2005

Monitoring cell cycle distributions in MCF-7 cells using near-field photothermal microspectroscopy.

Hammiche, A., German, M. J., Hewitt, R., Pollock, H. M. & Martin, F. L. 05/2005 In : Biophysical Journal. 88, 5, p. 3699-3706 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

The Use of Fingernails as a Means of Assessing Bone Health: A Pilot Study

Pillay, I., Lyons, D., German, M. J., Lawson, N. S., Pollock, H. M., Saunders, J., Chowdhury, S., Moran, P. & Towler, M. R. 2005 In : Journal of Women's Health. 14, 4, p. 339-344 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2004

The use of fingernail as a means of assessing bone health : a pilot study.

Pillay, I., Lyons, D., German, M. J., Lawson, N. S., Pollock, H. M., Saunders, J., Chowdhury, S., Moran, P. & Towler, M. R. 11/2004 In : Osteoporosis International. 15, Supple, p. S23

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Progress in near-field photothermal infra-red microspectroscopy.

Hammiche, A., Bozec, L., Pollock, H. M., German, M. & Reading, M. 02/2004 In : Journal of Microscopy. 213, 2, p. 129-134 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Mid-infrared micro-spectroscopy of difficult and awkward samples using near-field photothermal microspectroscopy (PTMS).

Hammiche, A., Bozec, L., German, M. J., Chalmers, J. M., Everall, N. J., Poulter, G., Reading, M., Grandy, D. B., Martin, F. L. & Pollock, H. M. 2004 In : Spectroscopy. 19, 2, p. 20-42 23 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

2003

A high-resolution multiple analysis approach using near-field thermal probes.

Hammiche, A., Reading, M., Grandy, D., Price, D. M., German, M. J., Bozec, L., Weaver, J. M. R., Stopford, P., Mills, G. & Pollock, H. M. 19/12/2003 Proceedings of the 12th International Conference: Scanning Tunneling Microscopy/Spectroscopy and Related Techniques. Koenraad, P. M. & Kemerink, M. (eds.). Melville, USA: American Institute of Physics, p. 369-376 8 p.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Inter-particle forces in cohesive powders studied by AFM: effects of relative humidity, particle size and wall adhesion.

Jones, R., Pollock, H. M., Geldart, D. & Verlinden, A. 2003 In : Powder Technology. 132, 2-3, p. 196-210 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

1995

Atomic force microscopy of the cornea and sclera.

Fullwood, N. J., Hammiche, A., Pollock, H. M., Hourston, D. J. & Song, M. 1995 In : Current Eye Research. 14, 7, p. 529-535 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article